Its 2017 and it is like tattoos are just getting traction. More people than ever before are getting tattoos. You will get a tattoo because you love the design, because the tattoos give you confidence, the tattoo is symbolic, or you just need to hide a scar on your body. Sometimes, a tattoo may have no symbolic meaning, or hide no scar, but stand on your skin as an aspect of beauty.
Irrespective of the reason you inked that piece of art, when time comes and you regret having it, you need the easiest tattoo removal method.
Some people ink their skins without putting much thought into the future and how it will affect the way they view the tattoo. Justin Bieber tattooed Selena Gomez to show love, and when the passion died, regrets started. He is not alone; Adam Levine hates the cauliflower tat on his shoulder. Demi Lovato needs a cover-up for her vagina tat that doesn’t resonate with her taste now.
When a tattoo you have no longer inspires you, its symbolic meaning does not hold anymore, when you are old with a wrinkled face and you don’t mind scars or the tat is not stretched out to visibility, you start hating and regretting the tattoo. Sometimes, you get disapproving looks from your elders that make you want to remove the tattoos.
Before you start searching tattoo removal prices, you need to understand that the two main tattoo removal methods; tattoo removal cream and laser tattoo removal.
Laser Tattoo Removal
Tattoo removal laser method is the most common, but tattoo removal cream method is becoming popular as explained later. Put simply, laser tattoo removal breaks down the ink from your tattoo. With time, the broken ink is naturally absorbed by heat and other conditions. It is a simple tattoo removal process where high-intensity light is directed to your skin. The ink absorbs the laser, which then raises the temperature. The raised temperature breaks the ink particles.
With the ink particle broken, it becomes easier to remove the tat. However, breaking the ink particle is just the beginning. You will have to schedule appointments with your doctor to have the tattoo removed completely. However, after successive appointments, you are sure to remove the tattoo to the core.
Even though tattoo removal laser method has scientific backing, it is painful. To some people, this method is more painful than the pain of regretting their tattoo. Again, it is not a method for the common man thanks to its high cost. Laser removal clinics have mushroomed in the US, growing tattoo removal revenue by up to 440 percent.
Black tattoos are easier to remove with lasers thanks to the fact that they absorb all the light. Colored tats, especially blue and green tats, need a special light to remove. During the removal session, you will be given protective eye shields to keep your eyes safe. Your skin will be tested for reactions to lasers. This helps determine which energy will be most effective. Lasers are then used to pass pulses of high-intensity light on your skin.
Smaller tattoos will require relatively few pulses. After each visit to the removal clinic, your tattoo will become lighter, and finally, it will vanish. Though this tattoo removal process is painful, you may not be anesthetized. However, you can apply anesthesia cream before the visit. Immediately after treatment, ice will be used to cool the area. Keep the area covered from the sun when you are outside.
Laser removal, though the most common method, has a couple of potential side effects. During the treatments, the removal site is at risk of being infected. You may end up getting hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation where your skin becomes lighter or darker. In cosmetic tattoos including lip, vagina and eyeliner tats, the skin becomes darker.
- Given the diverse nature of tattoos, this method can be tailored to meet the needs of each person
- With tattoo removal laser method, the tattoo is completely removed
- With advances in technology, you can now remove a tat in just a few visits to the removal clinic
- Laser tattoo removal is expensive, and the common man cannot afford it
- It is a painful and lengthy process
- There are potential side effects
Tattoo Removal Cream
Laser surgery costs thousands. Even with all the scientific backing, many people cannot afford the surgery. This is where tattoo removal cream comes in. Creams offer a pain-free and cost-effective alternative to lasers.
Most tattoo removal creams act like bleach on your skin. These creams do not completely remove the tattoo ink, but fade it away bit by bit. The tattoo removal cream may not penetrate to the deepest layer of the skin where the tattoo ink is, but removes the surface ink. It takes more than a few months of repetitive cream application to fade the tattoo significantly. There are creams on the market that fade the tattoo faster than others, but still a few months of application will be needed.
Given that the prime component of these creams bleaches the skin, you can expect minor skin irritations. Several studies support the efficiency of removal creams while some organizations such as FDA have spoken out against these creams. Either way, the creams present the common man an easy way out. What’s more? There are also side effects experienced with laser removal.
Earlier creams brands have trichloroacetic acid as the main ingredient. When an excess amount of trichloroacetic acid is used, it burns the skin. To this end, you are advised to use only the recommended amount of tattoo removal cream each day if you do not want to end up with tattoo removal scars.
The recent tattoo creams are safe and recommended by physicians. These creams do not contain acids and work by targeting macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that ingest foreign particles in the body. The reason why a tattoo remains forever is that new macrophages ingest the old ones and hold their position on the skin. New creams target macrophages, making them move to other areas of the skin. This has proven to work. However, like other creams, it takes time.
With a good tattoo removal cream, you will remove your tattoo in a few months, the cream will not cause inflammation and pain and will not scar your skin.
- The method is relatively cheap
- Removal creams are easy to use
- The tattoo removal process is pain-free, except for minor irritations
- With a good cream, the process does not involve any side effects
- Acid-based creams have a horde of side effects
- With wrong use, acid-based creams can result in tattoo removal scars
Tattoo Removal: Alternative Methods
- Dermabrasion: Scrubbing the top surface of the skin with crystal exfoliator
- Salabrasion: Scrubbing the skin with salt
- Plastic Surgery: Add a layer of skin on the tattoo
How Does Tattoo Removal Work?
Tattoos are made of ink. When the ink is injected into your skin, it occupies the second layer of the skin, making it a challenge to remove. Before laser tattoo removal, there was no permanent tattoo removal method. Even up to now, the tattoo removal machine may not effectively remove the tattoo.
The oldest tattoo removal method is Dermabrasion. Here, you sand your skin or scrub it thoroughly to remove the top layer. A new layer will develop to remove the old layer. However, seeing that tattoo ink is seated on the deep layer of your skin, this method has proven not to work effectively, but fade the tattoo for a while. Microdermabrasion is the most common method where tiny skin exfoliation crystals are used.
Laser tattoo removal machine will produce high intensity light pulses to split the ink particles. With successive appointments, more splitting of ink particles make the tattoo fade.
Tattoo creams are diverse with each having a unique way of working. When the creams penetrate to the second layer of your skin, they surround the ink particles and carry them away from your skin. Think of them as bleach.
In short, most of the removal methods work by carrying away the ink from one part of the skin to another, besides laser removal where the ink is absorbed by heat.
How Much Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?
Tattoo removal is a complicated process. It often results in pain irrespective of the method you use. Laser tattoo removal is known to be the most painful, when the high-intensity light is penetrating your skin, it feels like needles are pricking you. The worst thing is, you will have successive sessions until the ink is completely removed. If the doctor does not administer anesthesia, the pain is excruciating. Black ink is removed fast, and you take fewer sessions. However, colored ink will take more sessions and, therefore, more pain.
Tattoo removal cream method is relatively less painful. However, there is still some irritation experienced, especially when the tattoo is acid based. With daily use, the removal cream will irritate your skin and may even burn your skin with excessive use. This is why it is advisable that you consider the ingredients of the tattoo cream before you buy.
Tattoo removal at home, in most cases, applies excess skin exfoliation. This is the same as scrubbing your skin, but now doing it to peel the top skin off. This is as painful as it sounds.
The physical pain is nothing compared to the emotional pain you may experience in case the method used has side effects. Hypopigmentation is a condition where the skin loses pigment and becomes lighter, here you appear to have vitilig). Hyperpigmentation is where the skin acquires more pigment and becomes darker. You will, therefore, have dark spots you never had. You can also end up with a scar, which may be looking worse than the tattoo.
The pain you experience is relative to the color of your tattoo, the size and the location. Smaller tattoos fade off fast and, therefore, involve less pain.
What Does Tattoo Removal Feel Like?
People have different experiences with tattoo removal, depending on their pain tolerance. Women, for instance, are used to piercing and waxing. This way, they are able to withstand the tattoo removal process better than men. According to patients, laser tattoo removal feels like someone snapping a hot rubber band on your skin. Most of the patients agree that the pain is the same as that of getting a new tattoo. The pain lasts up to 10 minutes after the session.
Use of tattoo removal cream feels just like using any form of a gel at first use. With consequent use, however, you will start feeling a sting on the skin, which may develop to a scab that later falls off. To most patients of tattoo removal, the process presents some level of discomfort.
The feeling you get during laser removal will depend on the skin numbing. Before the tattoo removal machine is used, the skin is numbed. Here, cold air is blown on your skin. It feels pricking cold, but afterwards, it numbs and reduces the pain you may feel.
How Much Tattoo Removal Cost?
Tattoo removal prices vary based on the method used. A common quote says the cost is ten times higher than tattoo application. This is true for laser tattoo removal, which uses a laser machine to direct high intense light to your skin. For a small tattoo, the price for a single laser removal session is up to $125. If you have a big tattoo, the size of your palm with lots of details, the price for a single session may hike up to $500. Before the tattoo is completely removed, you will have spent a couple of thousands of dollars.
Tattoo removal at home is relatively cheap. Here, you either use cream or use exfoliation crystals. Exfoliating is the cheapest because the crystals will cost less than $10, but the process is less effective.
Creams cost between $10 and $100 depending on their quality and quantity. Most of the creams are priced under $50, and you can use them for a couple of weeks before replacing them. This makes them cost effective.
Tattoo removal prices will be affected by tattoo removal aftercare. In most cases, you will need ice, bandages and sunscreen creams. Add the cost of these items to the overall cost. In case there is a severe side effect, such as an infection after laser removal, the overall cost goes way up.
How Many Tattoo Removal Sessions?
You will be applying tattoo removal cream for a few months, up to a year, before you have faded the tattoo significantly. The duration will be determined by how deep into your skin the ink is, the type and color of ink used, and whether the tattoo was done professionally.
For laser removal, the duration is dependent on the patient’s body ability to remove ink from the skin. To this end, the number of sessions is different for everyone. Most tattoo removal patients will have the tattoo removed in between 5 and 8 sessions. However, some may have it removed in three or four sessions and some go up to ten sessions. The duration between each session is about 6 weeks, 8 weeks for darker pigments. Placing the sessions close to each other may result to side effects.
A tool, Kerby-Desai scale, is used to determine the number of sessions it will take to remove a tattoo. This scale considers skin type, tattoo location on your body, tattoo layering, ink color, and amount of ink and pre-existing scarring. Other factors include patient health.
How Does Tattoo Removal Cream Work?
Tattoo removal cream is considered a natural method of tattoo removal. This is true of the latest creams on the market. While in the past creams have been using acid, nowadays organic substances are used. The acid would lightly burn the skin to create a scab that fell off within a week.
Today, creams are designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to react to them and the tattoo pigments. When you use creams, the creams surround the ink pigments. The body reacts to the cream expelling them together with the ink. On application, the cream will soften the pigments before they are expelled from the skin. A scab will be formed on the surface of the skin. This scab falls off after about eight weeks.
Some creams work on the principle of gradually breaking down the ink pigments. This is the same way laser removal does. With time, the broken down pigments are absorbed away, or they are expelled from the skin.
Which Tattoo Removal Cream Works Best?
Some tattoo removal creams are offered by private clinics and some are easily administered at home. The best cream is one which does not use harsh chemicals as ingredients. You will stumble upon numerous cream reviews; a rule of thumb, check ingredients.
Rejuvi Tattoo Removing Cream is one of the newest treatments. This is a tattoo cream injected the same way tattoo is applied. The injecting device looks similar to the tattoo gun and the process is done in a clinic. The cream binds together with the ink and draws it to the surface of your skin. As your skin heals, it rejects the scream and pushes it out together with the ink. A scab forms and falls off.
Wrecking Balm is one of the most common creams. It works by fading the tattoo off your skin. This is a form of cream you can easily apply at home. For results, the cream has to be applied on a daily basis. With daily use, the cream may form dark patches that fade away when you stop using it.
Profade System is a removal cream that comes in a pack of three separate creams. The first cream prepares your skin for the two remaining creams. The second cream break down the tattoo ink deep down your skin and the third removes the ink. This cream promises to remove tattoos in between 3 and 9 months.
Is Tattoo Removal Painful?
Experiences are different. Different methods have different levels of pain. Creams that require being injected into the body present the same level of pain like that of tattoo application. Laser removal may be painful if no anesthesia is used and less painful when the skin is numbed.
The process is painful but bearable.
If you can withstand pain, the process will just feel uncomfortable. For those who cannot stand a needle prick, the pain may feel excruciating. It is different for different people. Tattoo removal at home may be more painful as most people do not use anesthesia.
What About Tattoo Removal Aftercare? What Should I Do After The Removal?
Tattoo removal aftercare is important to ensure the skin does not get infections, to maintain skin texture and fed off unnecessary side effects. This can be done in a hospital, or it can be done at home. Tattoo removal pictures will not show the ugly side, but if not taken care of, removed tattoos sites can result to blisters and scars.
After the treatment, especially laser treatment, ice the treated area to prevent inflammation. This should be done for 24 hours after treatment. Avoid physical exercise, saunas, hot showers and hot sun for the next 24 hours. Choose an ointment and apply it on the tattoo area for the next three days to cool it off. Bandage the area to prevent infections and be sure to change the dressing every day.
Continue avoiding direct sun, avoid pool and salty water and avoid hot tubs for at least a week. If the area blisters or forms a scab, do not pop the blisters or pick the scab.
When you no longer want a tattoo, you will choose between tattoo removal machine and creams. Laser removal is effective, but relatively painful and costly. Creams are great, but a number of them have been reported to cause side effects. When choosing cream, therefore, ensure it is not acid based, and it does not contain TCA. With a good cream, you may not need to spend thousands. There is no much difference in the duration of removal between creams and lasers. Like tattoo removal pictures will show you, each method can fade away the tattoo significantly.